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Children's hospice Tŷ Hafan launch urgent appeal after predicting £2m loss due to coronavirus measures

Credit: Tŷ Hafan

A Welsh children's hospice has launched an urgent appeal for help after having to shut their charity shops and cancel fundraising events.

Tŷ Hafan predict they will lose £2 million as a result over the next year.

Following UK Government measures to help slow the spread of coronavirus, all non-essential shops have had to close for three weeks. Other charities have found themselves in similar positions and are also appealing for public donations.

Tŷ Hafan provide care and support for terminally ill children and their families.

The children's charity only receive 6% of their funding from the Welsh Government and need £4.5 million in total to operate each year.

The closing of their shops means their income is now limited to public donations, leaving the charity predicting a loss "in excess of £2m this year."

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The charity had a number of big fundraising events planned for the coming months to build on its £1.5 million refurbishment project, which began in January this year.

Events like the Welsh3peaks Challenge (which has been running for 22 years), the 10nTaff Challenge and an overseas trek to Cambodia that was set to raise over £70,000 alone, have all had to be cancelled.

With these events now cancelled and limited fundraising activity underway, Tŷ Hafan faces trying to complete the refurbishment by July whilst also keeping frontline services fully funded.

Tŷ Hafan’s fundraising and retail director, Julian Hall, said things are tough for everyone right now but it has been a "perfect storm" for them.

We are in the middle of a refurbishment, care is more difficult to provide under new rules, and much of our fundraising is at a halt.

Lots of our avid supporters who had fundraising events and challenges planned over the next few months have had to cancel or postpone their activity, meaning that our income has stalled.

We’ve also had to close our 25 shops across Wales and can no longer receive any donated goods.

– Julian Hall, Fundraising and Retail Director Tŷ Hafan
10-year-old Hari from Swansea is one of the children currently receiving care from Tŷ Hafan. Credit: Tŷ Hafan

Mr Hall added: “It’s going to be a testing year for us, but we’re already encouraged by the support that we’ve received.

"We’re lucky enough to have so many loyal supporters who are going above and beyond for us by coming up with creative fundraising activities that they can do from their homes.

"We are hoping to get lots of people signed up to our Virtual Marathon in May, a challenge that can be completed at home, and I’m sure there will be other ideas in the pipeline.”

Staff are still continuing to provide end-of-life care at the hospice, even adapting to the new circumstances by providing "virtual care" to those who are isolating in their homes over the coming months:

Tŷ Hafan’s Director of Care, Deborah Ho, said it's important to adapt as their "services are a vital lifeline."

The government restrictions put Tŷ Hafan families in an even more isolated position, so it’s more important than ever that we ensure that they feel supported and not alone.

– Deborah Ho, Director of Care Tŷ Hafan

Tŷ Hafan is the leading Welsh children’s hospice and supports children who are not expected to live beyond 18 years old. They also support the family of that child or young person.